My Favorite Pushkin Poem

Like the typical Russian, I love Pushkin’s work. It’s so profound and heartbreaking and it captures the very essence of all tortured souls. Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to translate and make it sound as good in English as it sounds in Russian. Nonetheless, I tried. Here’s my favorite Puskin poem, translated by yours truly.

The Angel

By the gates of Eden, an Angel, gentle

Shone with his softly drooping head,

And in the darkness a Demon, rebel

Over the hellish ravine fled

The sp’rit of doubt and of negation

Looked at the other one of good

And in a flame of forced elation

For the first time, he understood

“Pardon,” he said, “but I have seen you

And not in vain you’ve shined me light

Not all in heaven I had hated,

Not all on earth I had despised.”

Alexander Pushkin

Translated by Viktoria Nikola

Paradox

I didn’t choose to be a paradox

It’s simply so unorthodox

And seem to be a dark anomaly

A weird asserted mystery

Somehow defined by ambiguity

Make rational decisions stupidly

I didn’t wish it, but here I am

I am a lamb; I am a ram

I’m definitely undefined

Confused, refused, then re-defined

I am not sure and yet assured

That when time comes I am insured

I’m two unlikes on the same end

I am a good, which good amends

Stranger than thou, weaker than thou

But somehow plow a larger plow

Two parallels run within me

Both magnet polars, complexity

I seem to live in joyous death

Yet I take pleasure in every breath

Unsatisfied in my content

And happily at times lament

I live inside pure non-conformity

Thus love’s a burden, hence I am free

© Viktoria Nikola

The Finish Line

I’m running to the finish line
And I ignore the pain
I’m running to the finish sign
Soon I will win; soon I will reign

I’m running, but the goal’s far-set
Nor do I hear my chanted name
My victory’s a silhouette
For I have promised the crowd my fame

Deep in my veins I feel the rush
Of triumph’s gold-heaving breath
And in my ears the audience’s hush
Is pumping, throbbing, killing death

Inside my heart I feel the joy
I sense the soon relief
And then despite the ache decoy
I soar, I fly, and I believe

There is no one to say I can’t
Although I hear this cry
For blessed God, whose blessed grant
Is confidence doubts can’t defy

For me, there’s no more time
I’ve won, I’ve reached my goal
I am the victor, calm, sublime
And I am great and I am whole

© Viktoria Nikola

The Heavens Above Us

In the heavens up above us, in the darkest of their dark

Where the gleaming iridescents shine above their common spark

Where the silence thickens deeply, and the space has densed the more

There, a stone while gliding slowly, held two friends upon its floor

 

Long ago these souls acquainted, before time itself began

In the beauty of an iris that ignited their life span

Now afloat and sitting calmly, they gazed off into the night

In their view, there twirled many, but they focused on one sight

 

There, amongst the many buoys, drifted one specific sphere

Gleaming lightly like a crystal, fragile, blue, a fallen tear

Earth entranced these ageless spirits, seized their hearts with sympathy

As they looked into the stillness, sadness roamed within them, free

 

“Gabrius,” spoke Mithrael, vibrant lights played off his voice

“We have fought together nobly, learning lessons, gaining choice

Witnessing the varied cent’ries, we’ve become the souls we are

But we never perceived change in this gloomy fallen star.”

 

And the other nodded glumly, reminiscing of the days

When he wandered as a soldier upon earth’s forgotten maze

Where he thirst and where he hungered, where he longed to find the cure

To humanities’ enslavement, to carnalities’ false lure

 

In that moment’s recollection, memories played out in scenes

With the cosmos as the backdrop, with the darkness as the screen

Vivid eons flashed before them, painting visions in the sky

Prophesies that were delivered, promises that went awry

 

As the pictures began dimming, tender embers lingered on

Sighing softly and arising, the two souls erased the drawn

Not regret was at their doorstep, much too wise were these two hearts

But the ache of needed lessons and the woe that played its part

 

“Mithrael,” spoke Gabrius. “It is time for light to come,”

“Let us go and help the needy, in this distraught global slum,

For tis true no change has happened, yet we know it must be thus

Let us be the serving spirits that our earthly paupers trust.”

 

And the two companioned beings soared off to that tiny dot

Through the light-years of the cosmos, through the universal lot

Leaving there the heavy silence and fluxed celestial glare

Hurried off to guide their soul mates, still asleep and unaware

 

Viktoriya Neverov-Krstic

The Universe Within

I have the universe within me

It is a wonder of a thing

It borders with eternity

And carries me on wings



Its billions stars of fire

Its trillions moons of ice

Give rise to bright desire

Then drop to arctic vice




There gods consort with angels

There demons scheme a war

There Logos is no stranger

Truth there turns into lore




There emp’rors build their kingdoms

And priests anoint their heirs

There queens fight for the freedoms

That pauper peasants scare




I have the universe within me

Though others think me mad

“Too grand a thought, chéri”

“Come down to Earth, comrade”




To them I’ll lean in slyly

“A secret you I’ll tell:

This universe within me

Is within you as well”



Viktoria Nikola

Ode to the Sea

If only I could hug the sea, 

The way it holds me lovingly

To kiss its cheeks as sailboats do 

Those freckling flirts on blue green hues

To blanket it, its callous waves 

With passioned heat of love-sick rays

To tuck it in with twinkling lights

The diamond cloth of kings and knights

Inspire it - the wise wind's game 

A lovers trick, caress its mane

If only I could write a poem 

As worthy as its lacing foam

But words are futile this task amiss

Such lines I seal with a meek kiss



Viktoria Nikola

Goddess

When I used to be a goddess in the life passed long ago

I must have lived amongst the stars, in a cosmic gemmed château

Crystal columns dressed in moons opened to my g’lactic yard

Where I’d catch the raining diamonds broken from old starry shards




Shooting comets, dancing clouds, rings of planets, glittered mounds

From my balc’ny’s view I’d see heaven waltzing round and round

And I’d flash across this lot, steering loyal stallions

Suns in my hair and in my gown, glowing like medallions




But now in the world around me, in every shadow of each nook

I wonder where my stars are. To find the light where must I look?

Where are those twirling comets, that intergalactic ball?

Where is the music swirling that so easily all enthralled?




Where is my crown of gold suns? It’s too dark in this life for me

When is this blizzard ending? Will it ever be calm at sea?

Perhaps I’ve dreamt up my greatness, though it feels real in my core

Perhaps I’m truly the goddess of dusting and sweeping the floor




Perhaps in my desperation to escape mediocrity

I believe I feel nostalgia when I see sky’s divinity

But I’ll hold onto this feeling, it’s the candle to my shade

For without it I shall shatter, lose my spirit and then fade



Viktoria Nikola

Strength in Love

 

I wrote this one for a friend going through a rough time. 
It's a bit short, but I figured I needed to bring the message 
across quickly. 


There’s strength in numbers,

But truer is this:

There’s strength in a love

That dares to exist




There’s hope and there’s faith

And light there is too

So be not afraid,

My friend: I love you


Viktoria Nikola

The Toast

To all the moments of sheer beauty

To all the breaths we’ve held in awe

To all the words of all the stories

We heard as youths our jaws ajar




To all the hues of every vista

To all the petals of perfume

To every stem an ant has conquered

To every plant that ever bloomed




To all the faith of arms outstretching

To all the trust in every truth

To all the gusts in every glory

To every heart that’s loved anew




To every note of every concert

Or every tone of every song

To all the chords of all the voices

Who shouted louder than a wrong




To all the waves of all the changes

And all the waters of stern seas

To every mind that wandered strangely

Towards darkened depths, yet let it be




To all the tears of joyous smiles

To all the hope of days to pass

To every star in every trial

That led us through our daunting past




To all of you, oh treasured presents,

I toast a drink of bubbly whim

Continue to defy our limits

Let’s fly upon your wings of vim




Viktoria Nikola

2012